Introducing “JFS Community Connections”

Jewish Family Service is pleased to announce our Outreach & Education program will now be known as JFS Community Connections, with an explicit goal of serving our diverse Jewish communities. While the Jewish community is central to this work, JFS Community Connections will also engage the larger community in the Puget Sound region. We are honored to be thoughtful stewards of our Jewish community’s commitment to tikkun olam and look forward to continuing to offer meaningful opportunities for all of us to practice “love in action.”

What will this look like? JFS Community Connections will continue our commitment to engaging in community outreach, building strong partnerships, and offering educational opportunities. Our outreach will foster and maintain connections with our Jewish communities and with partner organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, through meaningful volunteerism, thoughtful education and collaborative partnerships. The work of Project Kavod (“Dignity”), now led by Rabbi Laura Rumpf, will remain a central focus supporting our staff in our understanding of Jewish values, traditions and resources as they relate to our work, and will forge connections between external partners and our program teams.    

JFS Community Connections is the next step in an exciting initiative we call “J in JFS.” “J in JFS” was spearheaded by Beth Huppin, the founder of Project Kavod, our internal education program that supports our diverse staff in our understanding of Jewish values, traditions, and resources as they relate to our work with our community. The generosity of the Jewish community allows us to support our broader community, as we have for 130 years since our founding by 70 Jewish women in 1892 to help resettle the hundreds of European and Mediterranean Jewish immigrants arriving in the Seattle area at the time. The responsibility to meet the particular needs of Jewish individuals and families is as critical to us today as it was then, as is our dedication to providing services to people of all backgrounds, religions, identities, and experiences.  

The staff who have led and supported this work will continue to do so but with some updated titles and responsibilities. Leslie Sugiura, formerly our Director of Volunteer Services, Outreach & Education, is now the Director of JFS Community Connections. Clara Prizont, who assists with our Outreach & Education, will now be our JFS Community Connections Assistant. Team members Rabbi Laura Rumpf (Director of Project Kavod) and Rebecca Mather (Volunteer Services Coordinator) titles will remain the same. 

While the program name will change, our focus to continue to build mutually supportive relationships will remain the same. Questions or comments? Please contact Leslie at 

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